Mexican cuisine today is the result of great influences and a proficient combination of what’s inherited and what’s imported. The area that is now known as Mexico was inhabited by ancient communities that worried a great deal about food production and conservation. They mastered plantations and had a great understanding of how earth cycles work as well as the growth of vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes, some seeds and, in short, whatever the earth was willing to offer.
In with the old and the new
At the same time, Mexico was a conquered land which received not only new inhabitants, but also new traditions and new ingredients from the Spanish. Among some others, rice is the one that became a staple in this gastronomy and is now found in most Mexican recipes.
Together with beans, rice is as versatile as it can be and that’s one of the reasons it was so well-received by the people in the area. Rice and beans is probably the most common dish in this country, but there’s of course much more to Mexican cuisine.
Nutritious and delicious
In time, and with the help of stereotypes, Mexican gastronomy got kind of reduced to tacos, tortilla chips and tequila, (as if that was a combination one could keep for longer than two days straight!) but the truth is Mexican food comes with a not-too-short nutritious list.
For every recipe you will probably find what can be considered a grassier version of it or at least a less healthy one, but that’s no more true than the fact that every single recipe can be healthier if you know which ingredients to add and which ones to leave out.
Nowadays, there’s even a vegan version of almost every recipe here. Proteins, fiber, minerals and more can be easily found in your dish following some simple steps.
A matter of habits
Nutrition has not only to do with ingredients, it also has to do with habits and one cannot exist without the others because you might learn how to make Mexican rice healthier, but there’s no point in doing so if you’re not going to change your key cooking habits.
Ingredients are as important as the methods. So, here is a fresh recipe for you to try out without feeling guilty of choosing the delicious factor over the nutritious one.
A healthy and tasty Mexican rice
- Two cups of rice.
- Three cups of vegetable broth or,
- 1 vegetable flavor cube and three cups of water.
- 1 cup of tomato sauce.
- Peppers (red and any color you might want to add)
- Extra-virgin olive oil.
- Chili powder.
- Start by preheating a medium-size pan and pour some extra-virgin olive oil in it.
- Slice some onions and dice up some red bell peppers. You can also use some green and yellow ones if you want to make it more colorful. Chop four cloves of garlic.
- Add everything to the pan, season with salt and chili powder and sauté until the onion is translucent (which will take no more than 2-3 minutes). You’ll start feeling the aroma of the seasoning here.
- Then add the rice and mix everything together. Cook for a while until the rice is browned.
- Now it’s time for the liquids and here you’ll want to add a cup of tomato sauce and two cups of vegetable broth. Make sure both blend together and stir so that the rest of the ingredients get soaked. Season with some pepper.
- Bring everything to a boil. Cover the pan, lower the heat to a simmer and let it cook until the rice is done, for about twenty minutes.
- In the meantime, do not lift the lid unless to check if more liquid is needed. If so, you can add an extra cup of vegetable broth.
- Try the rice and once it is done, turn the heat off and let everything rest, covered, for ten minutes. You could also wrap the pan with some foil paper, but the lid is enough if you don’t have any.
- Serve and enjoy.
Mexican rice is a perfect side dish which you can combine with some bean burger. If you’re not vegan but still want to make this a healthy side dish, you can combine it with some fatless pork beef or some chicken breast.